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. as yet, president obama has made no nomination for secretary of defense to replace the pentagon chief, leon panetta. the short list is very short indeed, chuck hagel. the senator from nebraska. he's the front-runner to succeed panetta. at least conservatives are treating him that way and using the tactics they used against susan rice and on one detail, israel. he once warned of the intimidating influence of the jewish lobby and said this in a 2006 interview while in office. >> i'm a united states senator, not an israeli senator. i'm a united states senator. i support israel, but my first interest is i take an oath to the united states, not to a president, not a a party not to israel. >> i'm confused about what is controversial about that. hagel is criticized for a remark he made about an ambassador candidate he made in 1998 when he said james hormel was openly gay. hormel said he accepted the apology. chuck hagel hasn't been selected yet. given what happened to ambassador rice, the question becomes will the president get the cabinet he wants or settle for the cabinet he can get confir
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